Wichita's Favorite Pumpkin Patch!
Walters' Farm & Pumpkin Patch is owned and operated by Carroll and Becky Walters, with the pumpkin patch now spreading over more than 73 acres of the 1700 acre farm. The pumpkin patch, corn maze, and Haunted Cannery are located approximately 30 minutes Northeast of Wichita, just north of El Dorado.
The History of the Farm
The farm was acquired by Vernon and Mazella Walters (Carroll's parents), who had just gotten married and were starting out on their own. They began working here for the Jameses who owned this piece of farm ground in Butler County. The Jameses had no children of their own, and rather adopted Mazella and Vernon as theirs. Many years later, as the Jameses grew older, they allowed the Walters to purchase the farm for the estate taxes that would be owed.
Three children were born to the Walters. Vivian, married to Hank Ruckert, who joins us each weekend to help in the kitchen; Velda, who has her own pumpkin patch in Harveyville, Kansas; and Carroll. Carroll farmed and ranched for many years with his father. Later, Carroll took an off-farm job with the refinery in El Dorado and leased the land to a neighbor.
After Vernon and Mazella had both passed from this life, the farm was divided into thirds, with Carroll and his wife Becky retaining the "front third" of the farm where their agritourism business had been established and had easy highway access.
Our Pumpkin Patch
In the late 1980's, Becky Walters was working at Seivley's Greenhouse in El Dorado. One of the delivery men came back from Wichita with a miniature pumpkin that all the florists were using in their autumn designs.
Leland, the owner, asked Becky if she was interested in growing some of those pumpkins, if he could get the seed. Leland was able to find the seed, and Becky found her niche on her husband's family farm. Becky wasn't good with livestock and had never "farmed" before, so this was her niche, something she could do as the city gal who wound up on the farm.
Becky would plant all the seeds by hand until she was planting over 10 acres in the coming years. Every weed was pulled by hand or tilled with a garden type tiller and each plant was checked for squash bug eggs. This was Becky's "quiet time" when the kids were playing and she could go "to the field" behind the house.
Since that beginning, the pumpkin patch has gone from hobby to business with 30 acres of pumpkins being planted annually, and we've now become one of Wichita's favorite pumpkin patches. Carroll just retired in 2007 after 19 years at the refinery.
"Each year we strive to find new varieties of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds, and to find new attractions to keep our customers coming back to enjoy our facility."
We're not just for kids,
and we're not just a field of orange pumpkins...We Harvest Memories.
Carroll had his 2 children from his first marriage (Chad and Benjy) and Becky had her 2 children from her first marriage (Pat and Amy). None of the children liked working in the pumpkins...in fact Amy's friends laughed that Amy's mother grew pumpkins. Now all those young ladies are bringing their families to the Walters'!
Amy and her children recently moved with her new husband, Josh Shepard, and his three sons to a home in Benton. But you can see everyone helping in the fall at the farm!
Our oldest son, Chad, lives in Seattle, and now makes an annual trip to help at the Patch. He likes the excitement of the farm that we have created.
Pat lives in El Dorado with Jessica Morris and their children.
Benjy, Teresa and family have moved again to Houston to foster his engineering opportunities, and time will tell whether the pumpkin patch lures them back in the fall. Their daughter Lindsay is off to college.
- Accolades for Walters' Farm -
2015 NAFDMA Conference
Website Design by Eckert AgriMarketing's FarmWebDesign
Best YouTube Video
2013 NAFDMA Conference
Produced by David Lyons of KWCH TV in Wichita, Ks.
2012 NAFDMA Conference
Human Gerbil Wheel
2012 NAFDMA Conference
Pumpkin Display in the Pumpkin Patch
Alumni of the Year
El Dorado High 2014
NAFDMA's Leadership Award
Business Excellence Award
Kansas Dept. of Commerce
Governor's Excellence Finalist
Kansas Business Merit Award
One of the "8 Wonders of Butler County"
NAFDMA Contributors Club